Sunday, October 13, 2013

Taiwan = ROC? Yes, but not the way you might think

Rare clear night here in Taichung. So happy with this picture.

TISR published a very interesting poll this week picked up by the Taipei Times:
The survey, conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR), showed that 69.7 percent believe that Taiwan and China are “two countries with separate development,” 9.6 percent think that both sides belong to “a divided ROC” and 2.4 percent see the two as belonging to “a divided People’s Republic of China [PRC].” A further 18.2 percent had no opinion, the survey showed.

Given a choice of how they would like the international media to refer to the country, “Taiwan” ranked first at 78.9 percent, followed by the ROC at 72.5 percent, “Chinese Taipei” at 25.8 percent and “Taiwan, China” at 6.5 percent; 3.7 percent had no answer.
This is the first poll I've come across that really hints at the way Taiwanese have taken "ROC" to stand for Taiwan. This is the opposite of the goal that the KMT had, which was to subsume Taiwan into the ROC. Instead, the Taiwanese have hollowed out the ROC -- they are happy to use that name but are cold to its outlandish territorial claims. They have also appropriated the ROC flag as their own, as a flag representing Taiwan (but not China). The public even appears to feel that there is no need to change the name of the country if China recognizes the ROC (a weird question, that).

TISR is the former Global Views, which allegedly shut down its political polling after pressure from the KMT during the 2012 Presidential campaign since it was finding Tsai ahead of Ma (story). The poll is online here.
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